President's address at our annual meeting June 5, 2020
To live in America at this moment of crisis- worldwide
pandemic, civil unrest and internal threats to our
democracy- is to hold even dearer those traditions that
have always helped us define who and what we are as
individuals. The Fine Arts Society of Detroit is one of those
traditions and it has been my honor to be your President
for the past year even in this time of confusion and unrest.
I will begin my remarks by answering the question
foremost in all our minds – will we have a 2020-2021
season? As of now we are not in control of our own
destiny and must wait until the end of July for Player’s
Board to put forth their plan to proceed. I know your new
Board will keep you apprised and as of now we do believe
there will be a season, however abbreviated.
And now a quick review of our past year. There have
been several highlights; the post performance tours of the
Player’s Theatre, given by Bill McCarthy, have been a
smashing success, delighting everyone who attended.
We have also been delighted with the efforts of Monica
Quinn in the lobby before each show providing an extra
level of greeting and welcoming for each audience
member. We also commend Julie Nixon for setting up the
Sign-up Genie which provides the entire membership with
instant updates and information via text. While not put to
use often enough this year the majority of our membership
opted into the program so look forward to information
coming your way via text this next year
In my last newsletter I mentioned the conversations the
Board has had about instituting an electronic roster, rather
than a printed roster, for next year. It is both more
economical and practical than a printed roster and
provides more flexibility for updating. You will be the first
to know when it is put into effect.
I am particularly delighted with the smooth rollout of our
new electronic reservation system. With only a couple of
glitches our membership has embraced the process and it
worked well for our first two shows.
Speaking of shows! Our first two productions of the
year were wonderfully received and a delight for all. A
season recognizing local playwrights started with our own
Johnathon Davis adapting and directing A Family
Christmas, Ain’t No Vacation. In February Bruce Maters
directed You Just Have No Idea by local playwright C.C.
We also hosted a successful New Member Reception
in September, hosted by Norma Eschenburg, and a
Christmas Party at the home of Agnes Ward in December.
On a decidedly less festive note I do want to recognize
the passing of three of Fine Arts legendary members.
John Diebel, Peter Retting and Margaret Lindner each left
this troubled world in the month of May, 2020. Please
keep their loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
Now, there is one more recognition to be made this
afternoon. There are two members of Fine Arts who are
celebrating a special anniversary this year. Monica Quinn
and Karen Quarnstrom, friends since elementary school,
have delighted us both onstage and supported us
backstage for the last 25 years.
Congratulations to you both. I wish I could be handing you
your gold pins myself but it will just have to wait until next
I will now end this endless rambling with a huge thank you,
from the bottom of my heart, to the wonderful people I
have been honored to serve with on your your FASD Board.
“So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.”
- Amanda Gorman, U.S. Youth Poet Laureate